If you have noticed your beloved cat drinking much more water than usual, you may wonder what is causing this increased thirst. Polydipsia—an abnormally increased appetite—is a common problem among cats and can indicate various underlying health issues. This article will discuss some of the causes and treatments for excessive drinking in cats.
What Causes Polydipsia in Cats?
Several different factors can cause polydipsia in cats. The most common causes include dehydration, kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, urinary tract infections, stress or anxiety, side effects from medications or other toxins, or cancer. Determining the underlying cause of your cat’s polydipsia is essential so that your veterinarian can prescribe appropriate treatment.
Diagnosing Polydipsia in Cats
If you have noticed that your cat has been drinking more than usual for an extended period (more than two weeks), it may be time to take them to the vet for an examination. Your veterinarian will likely do a physical exam, bloodwork, and urine tests to check for any underlying medical issues that could be causing your cat’s excessive thirst and drinking habits. In addition to these tests, they may also recommend other diagnostic tests such as X-rays or ultrasounds if they suspect any abnormality with your cat’s internal organs.
Treatment Options for Excessive Thirst & Drinking Habits in Cats
The treatment plan for polydipsia will depend on the underlying cause; however, some general treatment options can help alleviate polydipsia symptoms:
- Increase Water Intake – If dehydration is causing polydipsia, increasing water intake is vital! Make sure that fresh water is always available throughout the day, and consider adding wet food into their diet if they aren’t already eating it, as this will help increase their hydration levels.
- Adjust Diet – Certain foods can lead to dehydration, so ensure that you are fed a balanced diet with quality ingredients to help maintain proper hydration levels for your pet. You should also avoid giving them too many treats as this could lead to polyuria (excessive urination).
- Supplementation – Adding electrolytes such as sodium chloride (also known as table salt) into their water bowl can help replace electrolytes lost due to excessive drinking, which could then reduce their desire to drink so much water throughout the day.
- Medication – If the underlying cause is a medical condition such as diabetes mellitus or kidney disease, then medication may need to be prescribed by your veterinarian to manage those conditions properly and reduce excess thirst/drinking habits associated with them.
- Behavioral Therapy – Stress/anxiety can often lead to increased drinking habits, so providing environmental enrichment through interactive playtime or incorporating calming pheromones into the home environment could help reduce stress levels, resulting in less drinking overall!
Excessive thirst and drinking habits can often indicate an underlying medical issue, so it’s essential not to overlook any changes you notice in your pet’s behavior, including their water consumption habits! If you suspect something isn’t quite right with your cat, consulting your vet about possible causes/treatments is critical! With accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment options available, there’s no reason why excessive thirst shouldn’t become a thing of the past!